Grid Cell Hexagonal Patterns Formed by Fast Self-Organized Learning within Entorhinal Cortex
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Grid cells in the dorsal segment of the medial entorhinal cortex (dMEC) show remarkable hexagonal activity patterns, at multiple spatial scales, during spatial navigation. How these hexagonal patterns arise has excited intense interest. It has previously been shown how a selforganizing map can convert firing patterns across entorhinal grid cells into hippocampal place cells that are capable of representing much larger spatial scales. Can grid cell firing fields also arise during navigation through learning within a self-organizing map? A neural model is proposed that converts path integration signals into hexagonal grid cell patterns of multiple scales. This GRID model creates only grid cell patterns with the observed hexagonal structure, predicts how these hexagonal patterns can be learned from experience, and can process biologically plausible neural input and output signals during navigation. These results support a unified computational framework for explaining how entorhinal-hippocampal interactions support spatial navigation.